'Your life feels different on you, once you greet death and understand your heart's position. You wear your life like a garment from the mission bundle sale ever after -- lightly because you realize you never paid nothing for it, cherishing because you know you won't ever come by such a bargain again.'- Louise ErdrichIn my twenties I was a junior hospital doctor. The nature of that work is that you spend a lot of time with people who are close to death. And the experience taught me two things - firstly, to cherish life, as you never know when it will end, and secondly, that those who had loved well and put effort into something that they were passionate about seemed to face death with more ease than those who had focussed on gathering wealth and status.
There was a beautiful show on Radio 4 some years ago called 'Advice to the Living' which was advice from people with terminal disease. I still remember one of the people saying:
'Am I loved? Am I loving well? When all else has been stripped away this will still remain'Advice to live by.